An ex-Googler called Marissa Mayer appeared on the Freakonomics podcast to talk about the subject of whether Google is becoming worse. Mayer recommended that asking why Google Search is worsening is the incorrect concern. Her explanation of what is wrong turns the spotlight back online itself.
Why Marissa Mayer’s Viewpoint Matters
Marissa Mayer was worker # 20 at Google, supervising engineers, becoming director of customer web items and belonged of the three-person group that dealt with creating AdWords.
Mayer dealt with lots of jobs, consisting of Google Images, News, Maps, and Gmail. She was at one point in charge of Local, Maps, and Area Providers.
She ultimately left Google to end up being the president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.
There are few individuals on the planet with her level of specialist knowledge of and history with search, which makes her views about the current state of search of fantastic interest.
Freakonomics Podcast: Is Google Getting Worse?
The host of the podcast started out the program by describing how in their experience Google is not as good as it used to be.
“The power of that discovery faded, as revelations do, and all of us began to take Google for granted.
When you needed some info, you just typed a few words into the search box and, really rapidly, you got the answer you were searching for, normally from an authoritative source.
However today? To me, at least, it does not feel the very same.
My search engine result just do not seem as beneficial.
I feel like I’m seeing more ads, more links that might also be ads, and more links to spammy web pages.”
Marissa Mayer Says Google is Just a Window
Marissa Mayer agreed that the search experience is different today.
However in her viewpoint the issue isn’t Google. The method she sees it, Google is just a window onto the Web.
Mayer shared her opinion:
“I do think the quality of the Internet has actually taken a hit.
… When I began at Google, there had to do with 30 million websites, so crawling them all and indexing them all was fairly simple.
It sounds like a lot, however it’s small.
Today, I believe there was one point where Google had actually seen more than a trillion URLs.”
The host of the program asked if the increase in the variety of URLs is the reason why search engine result are worse.
“When you see the quality of your search engine result decrease, it’s natural to blame Google and resemble, ‘Why are they even worse?’
To me, the more interesting and sophisticated idea is if you state, ‘Wait, but Google’s simply a window onto the web. The genuine concern is, why is the web getting worse?’ “
Why is the Web Getting Worse?
The host of the show supported the concept that the problem is that the Internet is getting worse and, as Marissa recommended, he asked her why the web getting worse.
Mayer offered a description that deflects from Google and lays blame for poor search engine result on the web itself.
She explained the reason why the web is even worse:
“I think due to the fact that there’s a lot of economic incentive for misinformation, for clicks, for purchases.
There’s a lot more scams on the web today than there was 20 years ago.
And I think that the web has been able to grow and develop as rapidly as it has due to the fact that of less guideline and due to the fact that it’s so global.
However we likewise have to take the flipside of that.
In a fairly unregulated space, there’s going to be, you know, financial mis-incentives that can in some cases deteriorate quality.
And that does put a lot of onus on the brokers who are searching that details to attempt and overcome that. And it’s challenging.
It type of needs to be more, in my view, an ecosystem-style response, rather than just a simple correction from one star.”
Is the Problem Truly the Web?
The concept that the Web is low quality because it is reasonably unregulated is arguable.
There are government companies devoted to securing customers from deceptive online activities. One example is the United States federal government Federal Trade Commission guidelines on advertising, endorsements and marketing. These rules are the reason websites reveal they are making money from affiliate links.
Google itself also manages the Web through its publishing guidelines. Failure to follow Google’s guidelines can result in exclusion from the search results page.
Google’s ability to control the Web extends to the quality of content itself as evidenced by the reality that out of eight algorithm updates in 2022, 6 of them were concentrated on spam, product reviews and demoting unhelpful content.
It could be said that Google’s algorithm updates proves that Google is more focused on repairing Web material than it is on enhancing the technology for returning pertinent search engine result.
That so much of Google’s efforts is concentrated on encouraging an “ecosystem-style reaction” lines up with Marissa Mayer’s observation that the issue with search is the sites and not Google.
Is Google Search even worse because sites today are worse or is the issue with Google itself and they simply can’t see it?
Listen to the Freakonomics podcast:
Is Google Worsening?
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero